There was a time, years ago when I landed my first big internship in my line of work. It was out of state, so I lived with my aunt and took the train over to my job. I was so excited to be in this world of grownups, so filled with accomplishment. Everyday I’d look around at folks around me who actually wore real clothes to work instead of uniforms and hats and didn’t end their sentences with, "would you like fries with that?" I got a nice check every week and I had it made. During that time, a woman asked me if I liked my job and I, with no hesitation whatsoever, said “I LOVE IT” with such enthusiasm that I frightened her.
And my, how things have changed.
I don’t hate my job, but I don’t love it either and I'm having a general malaise toward the whole profession. I’m fed up with so much of the crap that goes into it. The internal politics, the nosey colleagues, watching everyone work in deference to the certain Powers That Be and lately, the constant worry about layoffs.
I won’t allow myself to be miserable with my working situation because a wise person once told me ‘positive thoughts lead to positive results.’ Still, I’m frustrated with my career choice. I wish I didn't have to wake up every morning and deal with The Man for 40 hours a week then come home and put whatever energy I have left into my own writing endeavors. On that end, I've reached the 50,000 word mark in the novel I'm writing. I celebrated for about five minutes, since I realize I have another 50,000 words and dozens of revisions to make before I can even imagine this as a published product. But I'll get there.
We have an intern who started and a few months ago and boy, is he eager. Not eager in the annoying sense, but eager in the ‘awww, isn’t he sweet’ kinda way. I made the mistake of taking Eager out for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel on his first day. I say it was a mistake because every day after that when he sees me rushing off, he wants to come with me and asks if I’m going to lunch. I make up some excuse about where I’m going because I want to be left alone. I’m very picky about my lunch break. I like to spend that hour in my secret hiding place (typically the library) reading a book or getting a new one. The last thing I need is someone tagging on my heels.
I'll probably take Eager to lunch again sometime before his internship is over. But I'll cut things short if he wants any career advice or asks me for any professional direction. That's when I will proceed to tell him that I am not a role model. I don't give career advice and if I did, I would advise him to get into another field altogether, one with more money and job security. I'd tell him to stay in school as long as he possibly can and to find the color of his parachute, before that bad boy pops.